Children across the Pacific to receive lifesaving vaccines
Young mum Aimata comes from a large family and knows the best way to protect her son, and the community is to get vaccinated. At the vaccine clinic in Rarotonga with her son, she told us she wants little Tukeitaua to “have the best protection.”
“I got my son vaccinated because I wanted him to have the best protection.”
- Aimata, Tukeitaua's mum
Aimata, a mother, attends a vaccine clinic in the Cook Islands with her son.
Reaching every child:
The vaccines will protect children against rotavirus disease and the pneumococcal virus, two of the major causes of death for children under five in the Pacific.
To distribute vaccines, UNICEF has partnered with Rotary on the ‘Give Every Child a Future’ programme. This partnership will mean 300,000 vaccine doses will be delivered to children on more than 330 islands over the next three years! We’re determined to reach children in some of the most remote places that may have limited resources and poor health systems.
Thanks to UNICEF donors it means more children living across the vast Pacific are going to receive these lifesaving vaccines.
With support from Rotary Zone 8, UNICEF is working to give every child a future by vaccinating children across nine Pacific Island countries.
The region also has a high rate of cervical cancer. Through this programme the addition of the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls will enable widespread prevention.
UNICEF is also working with local governments to ensure immunisation programs are sustainably developed across nine Pacific countries, so future generations have access to these life-saving vaccines going forward.
Prevention is better than cure
Munokoa, a grandmother from the Cook Islands, heard about the immunisation program on a public health program on the local radio. She believes that “prevention is better than cure” and has been encouraging families to access the program so they can be confident that they are protected from preventable illnesses.
“It's always been my belief that prevention is better than cure.”
- Munokoa, grandmother
Munokoa waits with her baby grandson outside the clinic for vaccination in the Cook Islands.
Training for local health care workers
To be able to continue this immunisation program into the future we need to ensure local teams delivering the program are trained to not only give the vaccines but can also help to educate the parents, grandparents, and families of the children who will be receiving the vaccines.
Ake is just one of the health care workers in the Cook Islands receiving training through the project.
“Through the new training, I now understand how to simplify [the process] for our parents. With these simple explanations, they now understand and allow their children to have the vaccines.”
Every child deserves the best protection. Our health care workers will be trained to educate parents and carers about the ongoing need for vaccines as their children grow, reminding them about their boosters and offering a care plan.
Thanks to donors and partners like Rotary Zone 8, UNICEF can reach vulnerable children with health care, protection, clean water, and education, no matter who they are or where they live.
Nurses at a clinic in the Cook Islands prepare for a busy day vaccinating children against rotavirus disease and pneumococcal virus.